By Jonas Terrado
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial remains lukewarm to the idea of staging closed-door games once the league gets a go-signal to resume its season currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marcial said holding such arrangement will put teams and even league officials and staff at risk even as the NBA and the Super Basketball League in Taiwan have placed a template on how the games can continue under current situation.
The NBA is exploring the idea of restarting the season by putting all 30 teams under quarantine at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida in a bid to complete its season.
In Taiwan, the SBL recently completed its championship series at a small facility in New Taipei City, with Taiwan Beer prevailing over Yulon Luxgen Dinos 117-78 in the deciding game last Thursday.
“Sa regular double-headers, hindi pa rin bababa sa 300 ang tao natin, so we will still draw mass gathering,” Marcial said through the PBA website, repeating his earlier statement in mid-March when the league suspended the season after just one game.
Marcial and members of the league’s Board of Governors are set to hold a second teleconference in the next few days to discuss possible moves following the extension of an Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and the General Community Quarantine in select regions.
The PBA agreed to reduce the 45th season to one or two conferences during its first online meeting last April 7.
But with the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease saying that sports-related mass gatherings won’t be allowed during ECQ and GCQ, the league is preparing the prospect of the season being cancelled.